The Bearcats and Buckeyes will play the first game at renovated Fifth Third Arena to start the 2018-2019 season.
From the University of Cincinnati...
The University of Cincinnati will start both the 2018-19 and 2019-2020 men’s basketball seasons against Ohio State, the programs announced Tuesday. The Bearcats will open a newly renovated Fifth Third Arena against the Buckeyes in 2018 with Ohio State playing host in Columbus in 2019. Although dates for the games have not been determined, the game will take place on the first allowable date of competition in each of the next two years.
“This is a great thing for Ohio, for basketball in Ohio and for the fans of these great universities,” UC head coach Mick Cronin said. “I want to thank everyone involved in making this happen. We are very excited about reopening our arena next season. Supporting this and agreeing to play Cincinnati in a home-and-home series is a first class move by Ohio State, Coach (Chris) Holtmann and the OSU administration.”
Holtmann, the first-year head coach of the Buckeyes, said the two historic programs opening the season against each other is a tremendous opportunity to showcase each program.
"We have great respect for the UC program and Coach (Mick) Cronin,” Holtmann said. “The idea of challenging ourselves in the nonconference while also providing an attractive game for our collective fan bases certainly made sense to us. We understand the challenge of opening the season on the road vs. a high-caliber opponent with a younger team provides some risk but we felt like it was the right decision at this time.
“We will continue to work to put together a challenging and attractive nonconference schedule in the future within the constraints of the Big Ten schedule as well as the games that have already been contracted," Holtmann said.